In the name of Allah
The All Compassionate, the All Merciful
22 Dhul-Hajja 1443 (22 July 2022)
Islamic Universal Association
20 Penzance Place, Holland Park
London, W11 4 PG
Jihad An-Nafs – Part 91
Purification of the heart-Part 33
Wisdom (hikmah) is invaluable for it cleanses the heart and keeps it secure from evil thoughts and temptations and that is why Imam Ali (a.s) in letter 31 advised his son, Hasan (a.s), to enlighten his heart with wisdom,
Hikmah is a positive term used repeatedly in the Holy Quran as a characteristic of the righteous. There are more than 170 Ayahs which refer to hikmah in different forms and 20 Ayahs are directly relevant to our subject matter. Hikmah has been defined as the ability to make correct judgement and maximize beneficial result by making the best use of available knowledge. Although knowledge may open the door to wisdom, it is distinct from wisdom. Wisdom has the power of discerning right from wrong whereas knowledge and information provide means for enlightenment In other words, wisdom is knowledge with the power of discerning the truth, and it is interchangeable with truth, philosophy, righteous deeds, justice, knowledge, humility and forbearance.
The Holy Quran is referred to as the Book of Wisdom. Wisdom here is referred to as an integral component of the message and guidance provided by divine revelation. When Prophet Abraham prayed for the fulfilment of the mission of prophets, he prayed for one who would “relate the scripture to the people, convey hikmah and provide means of purification.” Abu Huraira reported that the Holy Prophet (s.a) has said, “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. Wherever he finds it, he is most deserving of it.” In another Hadith, the Holy Prophet (s.a) has said: “Let there be envy for only two things: a man to whom Allah has given wealth and who exhausts it in the way of truth, and a man to whom Allah has given wisdom and who judges by it and teaches it.”
Allah reminds us in Ayah 269 of Surah Al-Baqarah: “He grants wisdom to whomsoever He pleases, and he who has been granted wisdom is granted abundant good; none shall mind it save those endowed with wisdom.” In Majma Al-Bayan V: 3 P: 382 theologians have interpreted wisdom as the perfect knowledge which alludes to rational demonstration, some interpret it as prophethood, others refer to it as the Holy Quran and finally it is said to be knowledge that leads to maximum benefit and abundance.
According to Ayah 12 of Surah Luqman, Allah (s.w.t) endowed Luqman with wisdom; the Ayah reads: “Indeed We granted Luqman wisdom saying: “Be grateful to God for whoever is grateful is indeed grateful for his own self, and whoever is ungrateful, God is surely Self-Sufficient, Most Praised.” There is extensive debate regarding Luqman’s identity. Some commentators believe that Luqman was a pre-Islamic prophet, but most commentators maintain that he was simply a righteous man and a sage (ḥakim). However, according to the Holy Prophet (s.a), he was not a prophet but a hakim for he was energised with yaqin (belief) and he loved Allah (s.w.t) and Allah (s.w.t) also loved him and he was endowed with comprehension and understanding rather than revelation. (Majma Al-Bayan V: 8 P: 315)
The event of Mubahala
The significant event of Mubahala took place on the 24th of Dhul-Hajja, 10 Hijri which demonstrated the piety of the Holy Prophet (s.a) and his Ahlul Bait. Moreover, another important event occurred during the month of Dhul-Hajja, when Ayahs 8 and 9 of Surah Ad-Dahr (Insan) were revealed, which was a great evidence of the superiority and excellence of Hazrat Fatima and Imam Ali (a.s) and their proximity to the Creator. The Ayahs read: “And they gave away food out of love for Him to the poor man, the orphan and the captive, (Saying): “We feed only for God’s sake; and we seek no recompense or thanks from you.” However, today I will discuss the event of Mubahala.
In 9 Hijri, the Holy Prophet (s.a) sent a letter to Abdul Haris Ibne Alqama, the Grand Bishop of Najran and the official representative of the Roman Church in the Hijaz, inviting him and his people to embrace Islam. The following year, a Christian delegation from Najran (a city near the Yemeni border), came to Medina to seek clarification about Jesus in light of the said letter. They maintained that Jesus was the son of God although the Holy Prophet (s.a) tried to explain to them that he was a servant of Allah (s.w.t), chosen by Him as His Prophet. At that time, Ayahs 59 and 60 of Surah Aale Imran were revealed: “Verily, the similitude of Jesus with God is like that of Adam; He created him of dust, then He said to him, “Be!” and he was. This is the truth from your Lord, therefore do not entertain any doubt.” But when the Christians remained adamant in their belief that Jesus was the son of God and categorically refused to accept the Holy Prophet (s.a)’s point of view, Ayahs 61-63 of Surah Aale Imran 22.7.22(the verses of Mubahala) were revealed: “And to him who disputes with you therein after knowledge has come to you say: “Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves; then let us invoke and lay the curse of God upon the liars! Verily, this is the true narrative. There is no god except Allah and verily God is the Almighty, the All-wise. But if they turn away, then, verily, God knows the mischief-makers.” Hence in accordance with Allah (s.w.t)’s command, the Holy Prophet (s.a) challenged the Christians to a Mubahala, that is to pray and invoke Allah (s.w.t)’s curse on the party that insists upon falsehood. ‘Mubahala’ means a ‘maledictory conflict’, and is derived from the Arabic word ‘bahala’ meaning ‘curse’.
In accordance with a Hadith recorded in Bihar Al-Anwar, the Christians accepted the challenge and on the following day, the 24th of Dhul-Hajjah, the Holy Prophet (s.a) came to the designated confrontation site with selected members of his family, namely, Hussain, Hassan, Fatima, and Ali (a.s). The Christians were surprised to see the Holy Prophet (s.a) with his ahlul bait, and realised that if the Holy Prophet (s.a) had the slightest doubt in the truth of the message of Islam, he would not challenge them and if he had the slightest fear of the curse he would not have come with his close family members to face them. Therefore, they backed away from the confrontation and agreed to pay the jizya (tax) to the Islamic state in return for their protection and the following year many Christians converted to Islam. There are various Islamic sources explaining this event which clearly denote that those who came with the Holy Prophet (s.a) for Mubahala (Imam Ali, Hazrat Fatima, Hassan and Hussain) were infallible.